Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Introducing Beyond Ever After by Carie Lawson

Haven Castlin is married to the boy she fell in love with as a teenager, Brody. After a series of mistakes, their marriage isn't working any more. When she asks Brody if she can go to Africa on a summer mission alone, he offers her the one thing she didn't expect -- a truce. In Africa they find the friendship they lost after making too many mistakes.

Brody can't figure out how to make Haven happy and doesn't deserve her, but he just can't let her go to a dangerous country alone. He'll let her go soon enough.

Of course she could go. How could he deny her helping a child she loved? "I'll go with you." Had he really just said that?

Surprise flashed in her eyes and then acceptance. He desperately hoped happiness would come in its wake. But she closed her eyes again, and when she opened them there was a sad sort of resignation.

It cut deep. She didn't want to spend the summer with him. She wanted to go alone. Letting her go might be easier than spending the summer with her, when she didn't want him. But fear of the infinitely dangerous possibilities overrode his pride. He couldn't let her go with no one to watch out for her. Despite what she thought, he couldn't imagine a life without Haven.

"Don't look so excited, honey." Anger fired out the words.

"Stop." The single, broken syllable held his tongue better than rage would have. "I can't... I can't do this. Please, Brody. No more." Her dry eyes were empty. "I'll do anything to help Eliya, but I can't spend the summer fighting with you. Not here and not in Africa. I need a break."

Brody sat in silence, staring at the drops of water running down the side of his glass. Maybe they were crying for Haven, because she didn't and wouldn't. Maybe they were crying for him, too, because he couldn't figure out how to make her happy.

There was no way he could let her go alone. He had to either go with her or tell her to stay. Because he couldn't stand the unhappiness he saw on her face, he clutched desperately to the one thing that came to his mind. "A truce."

Her head jerked backward.

Carie Lawson home schools her four kids, drives the soccer van --- complete with dirty socks and McDonalds bags scattered throughout --- and tries to sneak away to her computer whenever possible to write. She is an active member of a local writer's group, Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, and received third place in the North Texas Romance Writer's Great Expectations contest in the Inspirational Romance category.

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